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Peers to quiz Information Commissioner about new data-sharing code for public services

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will face questions from Peers tomorrow (Wednesday 13 January from 3.00 p.m.) about the implications of a new data-sharing code for public services.

During its recent inquiry the House of Lords Public Services Committee heard that a culture of risk aversion represented a significant barrier to data-sharing between public services, and that data-sharing failures during the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in part from the fact that public service leaders did not fully understand existing regulations and were not sufficiently confident in their ability to share data for the public good.

The committee will hear from:

At 3:00 p.m.:

  • Elizabeth Denham CBE, Information Commissioner, Information Commissioner's Office
  • Steve Wood, Deputy Commissioner, Information Commissioner's Office

At 4:00 p.m.:

  • Martin Lennon, Head of Public Affairs, Children's Commissioner for England
  • Dr Clare Mills, Head of Communications and External Affairs, National Association for Voluntary and Community Action
  • Alison McKenzie-Folan, Chief Executive of Wigan MBC and Society of Local Authority Chief Executives spokesperson for Digital Leadership

Likely questions and areas of discussion include:

  • How does the Information Commissioner’s Office’s new code support public services to remove barriers to data-sharing?
  • Has the new code addressed concerns that there had been data-sharing failures during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Does the new code address the problem of services working with children often struggling to understand the legal basis for sharing information due to the various laws governing data held on children?
  • What are the major obstacles to effective data-sharing between the NHS and council-funded services? 

The virtual session will be live on Parliament TV.

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